10:28 - AUSTRIA: CARD. SCHÖNBORN, PARISH ELECTIONS SIGN OF VITALITY IN THE CHURCH
The election of Parish councils in Austria, which took place on Sunday, 18 March, in all dioceses of the country, saw a regular participation, the Catholic news agency Kathpress reported yesterday. The participation of Austrian Catholics in the elections stands at about 20-25%, which is a higher figure compared to the average attendance of the faithful at celebrations. For Card. Christoph Schönborn, president of the Austrian Bishops Conference, Parish council elections are a sign of vitality in the Church and a strong evidence of the importance of faith in our country, he said just before the beginning of the Bishops Conference Plenary Assembly in Tainach, Carinthia, yesterday. Card. Schönborn addressed a greeting to the candidates thanking them for their contribution to the success of the elections: The commitment of the faithful is of paramount importance, especially in times like these when even the number of practising Catholics has dropped sharply. The outcome of the elections are being discussed by the bishops gathered in Carinthia and will be presented on Friday, 23 March, at the end of the prelates meeting.